Part 1: pre-Jack's Dinner
Pictures are worth a thousand words (probably ten thousand by today's inflation, if not more), so here's several to give you an idea of how things went at the pre-dinner/party at Christian and Jenny's place.
Chef-In-Training Patty, In Action
Dinner Is Served!
Can't Forget Dessert!
Woohoo Jeff Made It!
Patty, Jenny and Christian all went shopping the day before to gather up all the necessary ingredients for tonight's meal. Self checkout was fun, I was told. Then today Patty and Ras Dank rode up and got underway while Jenny and Christian looked on.
When I arrived, the incredible smell of cooking food flowed out from the second floor window of Christian and Jenny's place and right into my nose. It smelled so good. My salivary glands went into overdrive and it was practically raining in my mouth when I reached the front door.
The dinner consisted of a simple green salad with cucumbers, carrots cut in a style I can't remember and tomatoes, with your choice (lolz I used "your" like I was reading from a menu haha) of dressing.
Appetizers were mozzarella sticks fried to perfection in a homemade batter applied by Ras Dank.
The main course was Chicken Dijon and Chicken Marinara (some folks aren't keen on mustard, which is cool because the marinara —itself made from scratch by Patty— went perfectly with the appetizer).
The dessert was served in tall martini-style glasses, each pre-drizzled with chocolate syrup, then layered with portions of Neapolitan ice cream (the three flavors: vanilla, strawberry and chocolate) separated and shaped by spoon into ovals, with whipped cream, a final touch of ice cream and more syrup.
The food was immensely flavorful. The salad was a perfect starter: a simple yet hardy taste that contrasted well with what was to come next. The marinara was extremely rich and smooth in texture, with a touch of sweetness thrown in; it went perfectly with the mozzarella sticks, which were allowed to slightly cool so the batter could harden into an almost crackling shell.
The chicken was cooked perfectly. Not too hard, not too soft. The Honey Dijon sauce was killer. The peppercorns (am I saying that right?) added just the right edge to the flavor. I only wish there was more sauce!
As good as this was, seeing Jeff come through the door was just as great. Jeff, in case you did not already know, was instrumental in my formative experiences at Jack's Bar & Lounge last year. It was really great to share this experience with him.
Oh what more can I say about the dessert except that it was fantastic! If you could die from the taste of food, I'm sure Jeff would have fallen right out of his chair. Probably me too.
I took lots of pictures with the über-camera Christian provided, and may have annoyed the hosts somewhat in the offing, but hey, it was my birthday. ;)
If you should ever be so lucky as to have Patty cook for you, Dear Reader, count yourself most fortunate. As Christian smartly pointed out the other day, Patty's is the kind of food that, if you'd just consumed it in a restaurant, you'd gladly pay for.
I couldn't agree more.
Interlude: A Nice Pair of Boobs
Over dinner, it occured to me (as these wildly random thoughts always seem to do at the most inappropriate times, which is really to say all the damn time) that Jeff and I are like a good pair of tits.
To wit: we're both similar looking, are big and round, and if you stood us next to each other for comparison you'd see that one is slightly larger than the other (ladies you know what I'm talking about).
I did not remark on this thought out loud at dinner, but found myself unable to contain the idea inside my head after having consumed several whisky shots at the bar and so communicated my inner ruminations whenever anyone came close to me as I stood next to Jeff.
My apologies to anyone I might have weirded out. In my defense they told me it was my birthday and said I could do anything I wanted. So there.
Part 2: At Jack's, Whiskey Super Powers and Bus Lifting
We fortunate few who indulged in Patty's ever expanding culinary awesomeness found ourselves a gang of six full bellied humans walking (nay, ambling) up the street to Jack's, sippy cups in hand.
As an aside, I should say that the concept of a "sippy cup" is, to quote a word I use a lot on this blog, "awesome". The sippy cup is to traveling drinkers what the wheel is to machines one uses to get somewhere. I.e., it's the part you can't do without. Sippy cups are like Ninjas in that they are the perfect disguise. You think, "Ah! Surely that's coffee in your obviously labled as a coffee cup cup," but not so!
Empowered by the simple, yet awesome utility of our sippy cups, we drank our fill (well, until the liquid contents of our cups ran out) as we walked down Taylor's pleasant sidewalks. At this time it was remarked upon by one of the males in our happy troup that it's a particularly heinous crime to have no Taco Bell within easy driving distance of downtown San Jose residents. Really, it's about as heinous as...well...whatever is really heinous to you.
The vacant lot between Sixth and Seventh street seemed to me a prime location for just such, to which Jenny readily agreed. Jenny, as she's remarked before, thinks their ought to be a Nordstrom Rack and a Taco bell put in that lot. I could not agree more, though I'm not a Nordstrom's man (more a pray-this-fits-and-if-not-oh-well sort of clothes person).
If you can tell the difference between a pair of identical looking capri pants, one purchased from Macy's and one from Nordstrom, then count yourself able to see in a spectrum I did not even know existed.
Inside Jack's, Travis the Awesome was busy behind the bar. There was no Simonette working, which was a bummer because I was looking forward to seeing her.
There was nobody on the door since Travis was at the bar, and this reminded me that Jeff invited me to work with him May 1st as extra muscle for a door gig in Campbell on fight night (not sure of the exact location, lolz).
I hope there's no trouble and nobody tries to gang up on this particular pair of boobs, because whenever men get their hands on a pair of breasts the first thing they try to do is mash them together into one great big boob* (again, I'm sure you're with me on this ladies).
If you tried that with me an Jeff, well it'd be bad for you and your soon to be dead friends. Jeff and I are friendly to each other, sure, but we're not the types to be made to sacrifice our personal space by a bunch of ruffians. We'd gladly fight off the Legions of Hell before we let someone make us rub pelvises together (ICK!), however incidentally it might happen while the punching and ass-kicking was going on.
I can't even remember when the last time it was I got into a fight. Well, I sort of can, but it was so long ago that the memories are all in black and white.
Anyway, I can't remember much from about this point forward. I know Ed, Travis, Tanisha, possibly Kelly and Jorge (and Tim?), Johnny E. and Jon, and ACME purchased rounds of birthday shots of Jack Daniels for me.
Now I had a $20 out and every intention of paying, but couldn't seem to get anyone to take my money.
At some point later in the night I found said $20 neatly folded into a tiny square in my pocket. How it got there, I don't know. I do recall ACME asking me why his girlfriend's hand was in my pocket at some point and he lurked so very close when he asked that it was all I could do (being thoroughly buzzed) not to smile at what sounded to me at the time like a really great idea masked as an accusation.
I felt guilty on the inside for thinking that, but on the outside I'm sure the Whiskey-fueled grin on my face in no way betrayed that I was of two minds (both of them out of this world buzzed) on the subject.
(Thanks Katy if that was you who saved my money! :blush:)
I'm not sure when I went outside to help the VTA bus get towed. I recall someone pointed it out (Marchel?) and then I'm hollering inside the bar for someone to bust out a camera. I think Christian suggested I run across the street and help out, so I did.
What I do know for sure is that Jenny took my keys and Christian was kind enough to stay late after most everyone else left and he walked with me back to his place, where I crashed for the night. Thank you all so very much for looking after me!
If I have missed anything relevant that you recall, Dear Reader, please leave a comment!
Pictures follow (click on image to enlarge, but beware the awesome):
(photo courtesy of Christian S.)
Thanks to my trusty Whiskey Superpowers (Whiskey is my spinach), I was able to lift up the bus shown above while posing in a very manly, Hercules-like way, while the tow truck driver had to be slapped out of his jaw-dropped-and-stunned-by-awesomeness-made-real-right-before-his-eyes state so that he could climb into the cab of his rig and safely back the tow hitch up under the bus. (When not flexing for photos, I used my keen eye and free arm to guide the driver as he backed in.)
But who am I kidding? I wouldn't dream of fibbing to you, Dear Reader. Which is to say whiskey, for all its splendid effects on one's body, mind and memory, cannot alone power the feat of strength you see with your own eyes above.
The truth of the matter is that Zeus was always ever Chuck Norris, and you can tell his mighty offspring by the awesomeness of their beards.
Thank you as always for reading, Dear Reader. See you Wednesday at Jack's Bar & Lounge!
*Thanks, Robbin Williams, for teaching me all those years ago that this was possible.